Endometriosis is a medical condition characterized by the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. It is commonly found around the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and lining of the pelvic cavity. In rare cases, it can also be found around the bladder, cervix, abdomen, rectum, and vagina. It is associated with a range of symptoms, including painful periods, painful intercourse, and chronic abdominal and pelvic pain.
It is one of the leading causes of infertility. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine estimates 24% to 50% of women with infertility also have endometriosis. There is currently no exact known cause nor any specific way to prevent endometriosis. It affects millions of women and can have a significant impact on your fertility journey, whether you are an intended parent, a gestational surrogate, or an egg donor.
Endometriosis affects over 11% of American women ages 15 to 44, with those in their 30s and 40s being particularly vulnerable. This condition can make it difficult to conceive. Some intended mothers may choose surrogacy as an option to grow their family. Remember, you are not alone. Growing Generations is here to provide support. You can learn more about the surrogacy process for intended parents here.
For potential surrogates, endometriosis does not automatically disqualify someone who is interested in that journey. There are two things you must consider before going through the application process:
- Have you had surgery to remove endometrial tissue?
- Have you had any pregnancies since the diagnosis?
If the endometrial tissue has been removed and you have had a successful pregnancy since with no recurring endometriosis symptoms, then it’s okay to proceed with the application process. However, keep in mind: clinics and intended parents have the final say as to whether they would like to move forward given all the facts. Interested surrogates can find out more about our process here.
While we can work with surrogates who have a history of endometriosis, a diagnosis would disqualify egg donor candidates. A family health history with endometriosis can also affect a potential egg donor’s eligibility. This depends on which family member(s) were diagnosed. The egg donation process is a rewarding experience for everyone involved, but it should not come at the cost of the egg donor’s health. If you have any questions on your qualifications, you can find answers here.
Endometriosis creates a significant impact on the fertility journey of intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors. It presents some challenges but working with an experienced team of knowledgeable experts and medical professionals can make this surrogacy journey possible. The right care, treatment, and support system can make dreams of parenthood and creating families achievable.